My walk today passed by an art installation on the mountain.
The rusted steel frame traced out the traditional shape of a house – four sides and a peaked roof – a place to live your life. The view of Oaxaca in one direction backed up by the mountains in the other, provided the serenity of a spare landscape as well as the excitement of the glittering city below.
Thinking about this as an art installation (which was my first impression) it was reminiscent of the British artist, Rachel Whiteread’s familiar architectural forms of dwellings. Whiteread received the prestigious Turner Prize for her sculpture of House, and the British public both loved and derided the sculpture.
Mona Hatoum also utilized human-made objects related to the home from a perspective of domestic entrapment.
Perhaps less well-known but no less brilliant, Hudson Valley artist Robert Hite was exploring the idea of dwellings through his art, including painting, photography, and sculpture. Hite once commented about this work: “We all want home, to reside safely.” He received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his project, “Imagined Histories” a series of artworks that explore lives of marginalized people.
Hite’s work also focused on the human trait to move or immigrate in search of better life. He commented about this work: “To escape the unknown for the unknown – to cross borders – is a leap of faith across a deep chasm of fear. It is the story of us and it is how we evolve.”
Robert Hite died 5/27/2020. More information on his life and work can be seen on his webpage: www.RobertHite.com.